Being a federal contractor means following a laundry list of rules and regulations for all aspects of the job, including hiring. Since the government awards hundreds of billions of dollars in federal contracts each year, it needs to ensure those dollars are being well-spent by good companies doing good business. The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) enforces all the regulations through audits to ensure contractors are adhering to safe and non-discriminatory practices. With companies already spending 90 to 200% of an employee's salary to hire a new employee, any added fines for lack of compliance is something to be avoided at all costs.
Target a Diverse Talent Pool
Companies that take federal jobs need to ensure their workforce is diverse and open to every race, gender, religious affiliation and ability; the U.S. government is an equal opportunity employer and expects its contractors to be the same. Don't rely on a Help Wanted sign posted on the door to reach a diverse group of candidates. Federal contractors need to target multiple local and national job boards as well as social media channels to reach qualified minorities, women, veterans and individuals with disabilities.
Keep Position Descriptions Clear
Your job descriptions should include the basic or minimum requirements an applicant must possess to do the job. Qualifications should include:
- Noncomparative features of a job seekers
- Relevant to the performance of the position
For example, state the exact number of years' experience required for a position, e.g. three years. Don't use a comparative like stating the top five candidates with the most experience will be considered. And if you require a Bachelor's degree in engineering, don't subjectively state a scientific degree from a good school is preferred. Also, don't ask for a candidate to have high-level computer skills when the job doesn't require it.
Include an EEO Disclaimer
To be a federal contractor, the basic Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) requirements include:
- Don't Discriminate
- Post EEO Posters
- Include the EEO Tag Line in Employment Advertising
- Keep Records
- Permit OFCCP Access to Books and Records During a Compliant Investigation or Compliance Evaluation
- File an Annual EEO-1 Report
Consider using an automated process to make including an EEO tag line in all solicitations or advertisements for employment a snap. A good applicant tracking system will automatically include a statement that your company will consider all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or national origin.
One of the biggest OFCCP violations is reporting. Paper processes can't match the accuracy of digital recordkeeping. With every applicant needing to be tracked for compliance, using an online applicant tracking system ensures all files are safely stored and easily accessible. Whether it is keeping track of job postings, resumes or interview notes, a digital process helps you to prove each piece of documentation meets requirements. Plus, if your company is ever audited by the OFCCP, digital documentation will help the process go much quicker.
The BirdDogHR ATS features help with AAP reporting, IWD and VEVRAA federal contractor compliance and will also pre-populate your voluntary surveys with specific language, including your EOE disclaimer. Federal contractors can rest assured knowing that the AAP HR uses to hire veterans can be easily integrated with the BirdDogHR online applicant tracking system to meet VEVRAA hiring benchmark requirements, with build-in AAP reporting. Contact us today to see how we can help you stay compliant.